Where Inner Cogs Spin and Dreams Take Flight: Deconstructing Machine for Yourself at Nguyen Si Kha’s Bells of Gal 2022

Step into a hidden workshop bathed in the glow of flickering soldering irons and the whisper of gears turning. This is the domain of Machine for Yourself, the 2022 theme of Nguyen Si Kha’s Bells of Gal, a competition that transcends the realm of mere mixology, transforming into a playground where bartenders become engineers, crafting cocktails that are as much machine as magic. From steampunk spectacles to futuristic fantasies, each sip was a testament to the boundless potential of human ingenuity and the insatiable thirst for innovation.

Machine for Yourself: Demystifying the Mechanical Muse

Machine for Yourself wasn’t just about gears and gadgets; it was about exploring the human connection to machines. Bartenders delved into the history of innovation, the allure of automation, and the intricate dances between humans and their mechanical creations. Their cocktails became expressions of our symbiotic relationship with technology, showcasing both the wonder and the potential pitfalls of our reliance on the whirring world around us.

Top Contenders and Their Clockwork Masterpieces

Let’s raise a glass (perhaps a vial adorned with miniature gears) to some of the visionary mixologists who left us awestruck with their Machine for Yourself masterpieces:

The Steampunk Symphony by Elena Lopez (Argentina): This concoction combined mezcal infused with smoked cloves and gears made from chocolate, its smoky whispers and edible cogs evoking the romance of Victorian-era automatons.

The Circuit Dream by Hiroki Tanaka (Japan): Taking inspiration from the sleek lines of future technology, this cocktail featured gin infused with yuzu and elderflower, served in a glass disguised as a miniature motherboard, offering a taste of tomorrow.

The Heart’s Engine by Maya Petrova (Russia): A poignant reflection on our dependence on machines, this drink blended cognac infused with rose petals and lavender with edible heart-shaped gears, a bittersweet reminder of the human soul amidst the whirring gears.

Forging the Essence of Innovation:  Unexpected Ingredients

Machine for Yourself wasn’t just about visual theatrics; it was about pushing the boundaries of flavor with unconventional ingredients. From citrus infused with smoked gears to teas steeped with metallic notes, bartenders embraced the unique properties of various materials, transforming them into the lifeblood of their mechanical marvels.

The Mechanics of Flavor: Crafting a Symphony of Sensation

The true brilliance of Machine for Yourself lay in its masterful orchestration of taste and texture. Smoke and bubbles mimicked the rhythmic hum of machinery, edible gears offered a playful crunch, and unexpected infusions conjured the metallic tang of future landscapes. Each sip was a multi-sensory experience, inviting the drinker to become part of the intricate mechanics of flavor.

Beyond the Competition: Machine for Yourself as a Catalyst for Innovation

The impact of Machine for Yourself extends far beyond the competition itself. It serves as a rallying cry for culinary innovation, encouraging bartenders around the world to embrace the possibilities of technology-inspired mixology. This spirit of mechanical alchemy has led to a global resurgence of interest in experimental cocktails, pushing the boundaries of what we expect from our libations.

Craft Your Own Machine for Yourself: Tips for Building Flavorful Marvels

Even if you weren’t fortunate enough to witness Machine for Yourself firsthand, you can still capture its essence in your own home bar. Here are some tips to get you started on your mechanical mixology journey:

Embrace the concept: Think about the emotions and ideas you associate with machines, then translate them into flavor profiles and presentation.

Source unique ingredients: Explore specialty stores and online retailers for unusual teas, smoke-infused spices, and edible textures.

Utilize technology: Consider sous vide infusions, dry ice for smoky effects, and even electronic tools like food printers to enhance your creations.

Presentation is key: Use glassware with industrial elements, miniature gears as garnishes, and even playful smoke or light shows to create a truly immersive experience.


Machine for Yourself at Bells of Gal 2022 was a symphony of innovation and imagination, where cocktails became more than just sips; they were intricate constructions, whirring with the ghosts of gears and pulsating with the dreams of the future. From steampunk spectacles to futuristic fantasies, each creation offered a glimpse into the intricate dance between human ingenuity and the mechanical world we have built. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or simply a dreamer with a thirst for the unconventional, Machine for Yourself leaves you with a profound question: what machines will we craft next, both with our hands and in our hearts? Let this competition be a catalyst for your own culinary alchemy, an invitation to embrace technology, explore unexpected ingredients, and build flavor marvels that defy the ordinary. So raise a glass (or perhaps a gear-topped flask) to Nguyen Si Kha’s Machine for Yourself, a legacy that spins the cogs of creativity long after the last drop is savored.


1. Where can I find the recipes for the top contenders’ cocktails?

Unfortunately, the recipes for the competition-winning cocktails are often kept secret by the bartenders to preserve the element of surprise for future competitions. However, some of the bartenders might share variations or adaptations of their creations on their social media pages or personal websites. You can also try searching online for similar recipes inspired by the ingredients and flavor profiles mentioned in this blog post.

2. How can I get involved in Bells of Gal?

If you’re a bartender with a passion for crafting innovative cocktails, you can follow Bells of Gal on social media for updates and announcements about future competitions. They usually open for submissions several months in advance, so keep an eye out and be ready to showcase your most mechanical marvels!

3. Can I recreate Machine for Yourself-inspired cocktails at home?

Absolutely! This blog post provides several tips for crafting your own flavorful marvels. Remember to embrace the concept, source unique ingredients, utilize technology if possible, and let your presentation shine. You can also search online for recipes inspired by the competition or get creative with your own unique combinations.

4. Do I need any special equipment to make Machine for Yourself-inspired cocktails?

While having professional bar tools and even some technology at your disposal can certainly enhance your creations, you can actually create delicious flavor bombs with basic equipment like a shaker, strainer, muddler, measuring cups, and a citrus juicer. The most important ingredients are a sense of adventure, a willingness to experiment, and a mind that sparks with the whirring magic of innovation!

5. Where can I learn more about innovative cocktail making?

Beyond this blog post, there are many resources available for learning more about innovative cocktail making. You can browse cocktail websites and blogs, read books by renowned mixologists, or even take online courses or workshops. Experimenting with different ingredients and techniques is the best way to refine your craft and develop your own signature style. Remember, the future of mixology is full of whirring possibilities, so embrace the spirit of Machine for Yourself and let your creativity take flight!

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